Novavax says it is developing COVID-19 vaccine to target new variant of Omicron – National

Novavax Inc said on Friday it has begun work on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant discovered in South Africa and will have it ready for testing. and production in the next few weeks.

The company’s COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of a mutant protein of the virus that cannot cause disease but can activate the immune system. The vaccine developer says it has begun developing a special mutant protein based on the variant’s known genetic sequence, B.1.1.529.

A company spokesman said: “Initial work will take several weeks. The company’s shares closed up nearly 9% on Friday.

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Novavax’s vaccine received emergency use approval first earlier this month in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines.

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The company says it is on track to apply for US approval later this year. It has also applied for approval with the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada.

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Other vaccine developers, including Germany’s BioNTech SE and Johnson & Johnson, say they are testing the effectiveness of the shots against the new variant, dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said it has begun testing its vaccine candidate, INO-4800, to evaluate its effectiveness against the new variant. The company expects the inspection to take about two weeks.

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Inovio also said it is concurrently designing a new vaccine candidate that specifically targets Omicron.

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“Best-case scenario, INO-4800… will be completely resistant to omicrons, but if that’s not the case then we’ll have a vaccine,” said Kate Broderick, senior vice president of R&D at Inovio. Xin is designed to be ready to use if needed”.

Earlier this month, Inovio resumed late-stage trials of its vaccine in the United States after a 14-month clinical pause.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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